Phnom Penh [Cambodia], August 4 (ANI): Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen said that all ASEAN Member States are deeply disappointed by the execution of opposition activists in Myanmar and noted that if more prisoners are executed, they will be forced to rethink about the role vis-a-vis ASEAN's Five-point consensus.
These were the opening remarks of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting as foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met at Cambodia's Phnom Penh for the 55th time.
Notably, the 10-nation bloc had been pushing for Myanmar to adhere to a five-point peace "consensus" however in a digress from this, Myanmar's military junta executed four men in the country's first death sentences carried out in over three decades.
"Cambodia as well as all ASEAN Member States, are deeply disappointed and disturbed by the execution of those opposition activists, despite the appeals from me and others for the death sentences to be reconsidered for the sake of political dialogue, peace and reconciliation. If more prisoners are to be executed, we will be forced to rethink about our role vis A vis ASEAN's Five-point Consensus," the Cambodian PM said.
The Prime Minister said, "the political and security, and now economic and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, one of our own families, has challenged the ASEAN unity, and solidarity and shaken the region's stability."
He added that in Myanmar, the ASEAN nations have spent so much time and energy and braved so many difficulties and criticism to help the country and its people find some political solutions.
"We will continue to do so without placing at risk, in any way, our ASEAN unity. Here I wish to add that even the implementation of the Five-point Consensus has not advanced as everyone wishes, but our efforts have yielded some progress, especially in providing humanitarian aid to those who need the most. However, the current situation has changed dramatically, which can be said that is even worse than the time prior to the Five-point Consensus after the execution of four opposition activists," he stated during his opening remarks.
On South-China sea, the Cambodian PM said that ASEAN nations are working hard to conclude an effective code of conduct which should be in line with international law.
"Another milestone is the 20th year anniversary of the Declaration of the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the East Sea, which is an important document in managing relations between all parties concerned in the South China Sea."
"We are also working hard to conclude a substantive and effective Code of Conduct (COC) that is in line with international law, including United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," he added.
Furthermore, the Cambodian PM said that the ASEAN nations are optimistic about Timor Leste's ASEAN membership by next year.
"Timor Leste's accession process is advancing well and I am optimistic that by next year we could welcome this country to the ASEAN family."
While exuding in ASEAN, the Prime Minister said that ASEAN was a region struggling with its security, stability and development however now it is a thriving region where, together, we have turned suspicion into trust, hostilities and confrontation into cooperation and development. "With decades of relative peace and stability, ASEAN has prospered way beyond our expectations, with high growth development and a steady improvement of the people's well-being." (ANI)